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art history



  • The Myth of North America, in One Painting

    Explore an immersive, interactive page that shows how "The Death of General Wolfe" by Benjamin West created a heroic myth of the British defeat of the French near Quebec, which helped decide the Seven Years War.



  • Monstrous Men: The Medusa #MeToo Monument Has an Oedipal Complex

    by Erin Thompson and Sonja Drimmer

    A New York statue of Medusa erected as a monument to the #MeToo movement of identifying sexual abusers of women is in fact yet another instance of fighting among male artists using women's bodies as symbolic weapons. It also garbles the myth of Medusa, draining it of its relevance to #MeToo.



  • Teaching the Racism of European Art Head-On

    by Letha Ch'ien

    "Race and European Art set out to examine our racial history clearly, without sidestepping  the ugly and uncomfortable parts of our heritage. I got lucky, because the students who signed up wanted to do the same work. And boy, was it depressing. I joked that I had become the professor of 'Bum You Out Studies'."



  • A Fuller Picture of Artemisia Gentileschi

    As one of the first women to forge a successful career as a painter, Artemisia was celebrated internationally in her lifetime, but her reputation languished after her death.



  • Why the Fight Over Statues Will Never End (video)

    Art historian and "art crime" expert Erin Thompson offers insight into the history of iconoclasm and why social change makes arguments about statues and public memorials inevitable.



  • What Should A Museum Look Like In 2020?

    "A call for divestment involves an acknowledgment of the ways that museums rely on local police departments to do the work of mental health providers and emergency medical technicians, as well as the implicit ways contracts with police departments protect property over people," said MoMA curator Thomas J. Lax.



  • Is It Time to Repatriate Africa’s Looted Art?

    Museums now face a moral reckoning over artifacts stolen by people who took colonial violence and racial superiority as a given. It is time to start having honest conversations about righting those wrongs.



  • The Long History of How Jesus Came to Resemble a White European

    No one knows exactly what Jesus looked like, and there are no known images of him from his lifetime. Art history professor Anna Smartwood House writes about the complicated history of the images of Christ and how historically they have served many purposes.